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Review: Masakuni Watering Wand

Unless you use a watering can, a mandatory tool for bonsai watering is a watering wand. Chances are, you have a typical garden center watering wand. These watering wands usually work well at full pressure, have a high flow rate, and generate a decent shower, known as a rose. For some cheaper made wands, this high rate of flow will disturb the soil in the bonsai pot and, in extreme cases, harm the foliage of the tree. The natural thought would be to lower the flow rate by using a valve. Many watering wands have a built in ball valve to adjust the flow, or to completely turn off the water flow. The problem with lowering the flow, is that the water no longer has the velocity to create a consistent, well formed rose. Because water is cohesive (it attracts itself), the water will turn into a consolidated flow that will not give good coverage. Depending on the amount of water, this consolidated flow can disturb soil and harm foliage.

Typical garden center watering wands are not designed for bonsai. Most garden center plants use a dense, peat based soil. This helps spread water through the entire soil mass, regardless of the watering method on the surface of the soil. This is where bonsai differ. Most proper bonsai soil is well draining, which means the surface of the soil is very granular. If the water is not finely and evenly sprayed across the surface, it can find consolidated paths through the soil mass and find its way out of the pot. To ensure the entire soil mass is thoroughly watered, a fine rose is necessary. This fine rose will initially wet all particles on the surface. A follow up watering a few moments later, will allow the water to follow cohesive paths across the whole surface of soil. A third and/or fourth watering, a few minutes later, will allow water to follow these cohesive paths through the entire pot. This is proper bonsai watering, and the Masakuni wand does it very well.

Now let’s take a look at the Masakuni Watering Wand.

Masakuni Wand (Shown with brass quick connect attachment, sold separately)

Don't let the size fool you. It may only be 12 inches in length, but you will be amazed by its performance. At full flow rate, the rose is very fine; almost a mist. Even at lower water flow rates, it still produces a wonderful, gentle rose. This is the main advantage of the Masakuni wand.

High flow rate comparison (Masakuni shown on right)

Low flow rate comparison (Masakuni shown on right)

Head comparison (Masakuni shown on right)

As you can see, the Masakuni has much smaller diameter holes than the other watering wand head. I believe this is the key to their success.

The Masakuni wand is made of chrome plated brass, so it will last a long time. The head is removable to allow for cleaning. I have not had my Masakuni wand for very long, so I do not know how often cleaning will be required. Because the wand head contains smaller holes than other wands, calcium deposits may build up quicker, but this is purely speculation.

Priced at around $30, it is barely more expensive than typical garden variety watering wands. The only drawback that I should mention, is that it does not come equipped with a shut off valve. If you like the convenience of having a ball valve at the base of the wand to adjust flow or to use as a shut off, you will need to purchase your own.
As should be evident by this review, I highly recommend the Masakuni watering wand.

Masakuni Website:
The Masakuni wand is available from most online bonsai distributors.

Review by Ed M.